iLoveBenefits: Industry News Blog

50% in Four Years – The Increase in Surgical Admissions

According to a recent report, the average price of a surgical admission for a child in 2010 was $35,423, but by 2014 it had risen to $53,372 – a more than 50% price increase. Source: “Higher Prices for Children’s Health Care Drove Spending Growth in 2014, While Use of Services Declined,” Health Care Cost Institute Press Release, May 16, 2016,

Adverse events that occur as a result of surgical procedures

According to a recent 4-year study, the mean rate of adverse events among all surgical procedure groups was 82.8 adverse events per 1,000 hospitalizations, although the rate varied widely depending upon surgical category. Source: “Incidence of adverse events in an integrated US healthcare system: a retrospective observational study of 82,784 surgical hospitalizations,” Patient Safety and Surgery, abstract only, May 27, 2014,

June 17, 2014 | Categories: data,healthcare,hospitals,quality | Tags: , , | Comments (0)

Seriously? If we only did what we know how to do. . .

Joint Commission report documents foreign objects left in patients
Since 2005, 772 cases have been recorded of surgical implements being left inside patients after wound closure, including 16 deaths, the Joint Commission said. Among the main factors contributing to these errors were lack of policies and poor doctor-staff communication, the watchdog said. In an alert, the group called for hospitals and ambulatory care centers to enhance counting protocols and other preventive measures. Modern Healthcare (free registration) (10/17), U.S. News & World Report/HealthDay News (10/17)

Cancelled hospital surgeries cost (or save?) millions

An analysis by researchers at Tulane University Medical Center found that, in 2009:

  • 6.7% of scheduled elective outpatient surgeries were cancelled, costing the hospital nearly $1 million that year
  • Almost 11% of surgeries were cancelled for patients who did not have a preoperative clinic visit with the anesthesiologist, compared with less than 4% of surgeries preceded by a clinic visit
  • Nearly one-third of the procedures were cancelled because of issues at the hospital itself, such as a lack of beds or equipment

Source: “Cancelled Surgeries Costing Hospitals Millions,” Anesthesiology News, May 2012,

May 15, 2012 | Categories: Cost,healthcare,hospitals | Tags: , , , | Comments (0)

Why outpatient surgery is no longer a low-risk event

A University of Michigan Health System study examined who’s having outpatient surgery in the U.S. today, and showed 1 in 84 highest-risk patients suffers a dangerous blood clot after surgery.

Hospitalized patients are often warned of the possibility of venous thromboembolism, which include blood clots that can form in the veins and travel to the lungs.

However these warnings have not necessarily been extended to the outpatient surgery population, says U-M surgeon and lead study author Christopher J. Pannucci, M.D.

With more than 60 percent of procedures now being done in the outpatient setting, the U-M study revealed a need for better patient screening of the large and growing group of patients having outpatient surgery.

Read more here:

Colorectal surgery: $1100 per day…

Colorectal surgery is linked to high readmission rates in study
Colorectal surgery patients were 11.4% and 23.3% at risk of 30- and 90-day readmissions, respectively, following the procedure, according to a study in the journal Disease of the Colon & Rectum. Researchers also found that the mean length of stay was eight days, with an average cost of $8,885 per hospitalization. News (11/18)

November 22, 2011 | Categories: Cost,hospitals | Tags: , , , , | Comments (0)

People will pay for cosmetic surgery – a large number of them

Number of Cosmetic Plastic Surgeries in 2009 and 2010

Type of Cosmetic Surgery



Cosmetic Procedures



Cosmetic Surgical



Cosmetic, Minimally Invasive






Source: Managed Care, September 2011
Data Source: American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Report of the 2010 Plastic Surgery Statistics

November 21, 2011 | Categories: Cost,healthcare | Tags: , , , | Comments (0)

Health Affairs: Payment informaton may suggest that bundled payments have cost savings potential

(Subscription required)

Medicare payments for four common types of inpatient surgery — hip replacement, coronary artery bypass grafting, back surgery, and colon removal — and their follow-up care can vary among hospitals by 49 percent to 130 percent. The result is that payments to the highest-cost hospitals exceed those to the lowest-cost facilities by up to $2,549 for colon removal surgery and $7,759 for back surgery, according to a study by David Miller of the University of Michigan and coauthors published in the November issue of Health Affairs.

The wide differences in payment suggest that Medicare and other payers could reap considerable savings by combining reimbursements to hospitals, physicians, and other providers into a so-called bundled payment — in other words, making a single payment for a defined episode of care. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has already launched a demonstration project to evaluate the use of bundled payments for certain procedures, including hip replacement and bypass surgery, and it is evaluating other potential payment bundles as well.

The November issue of Health Affairs, titled “Linking Community Development and Health,” was supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. A health policy brief on community development and health was produced by Health Affairs and RWJF in conjunction with the issue.

In addition, the issue was discussed at a November 8 Washington D.C. briefing, which was also supported by RWJF. Audio from the briefing is available on the Health Affairs website.

Focus on quality and process begins to have an impact

Mortality rates drop for risky surgeries, data show
A University of Michigan study found mortality rates for high-risk surgeries have significantly decreased, mainly because cancer procedures are being performed in hospitals that do them in volume and comply with safety guidelines. The study in the New England Journal of Medicine said the creation of large registries, public reporting of outcomes and quality improvement programs led by surgical societies also helped to reduce death rates. HealthDay News

Study: Checklists could reduce deaths, malpractice claims

A Dutch study in the Annals of Surgery found that the use of a surgical checklist, which included examination of surgical equipment and checking the operating schedule and surgical site, could help reduce patient deaths and cut medical malpractice claims in hospitals. Researchers found 29% of lawsuit claims and contributing factors to 40% of deaths were associated with a procedure on the checklist. Reuters (1/13)

January 17, 2011 | Categories: healthcare,hospitals,quality | Tags: , , , | Comments (0)
Older Posts »